Well, originally, this week was going to be a down week. Extra recovery. Because I raced pretty hard last Sunday. BUT…I reminded my coach that I was leaving the following week for a cruise and a Disney World venture…so, he shifted weeks and had this one be a bit of recovery, but keeping one day of speed work and shifting my third (and maybe last? Maybe not?) 20 miler to this weekend. Whew.
I won’t lie, my legs felt pretty flat for most of this week. And the heat and humidity returned…which also sucked. I know hot training days equal cool, fast, amazing fall marathons. But it’s still tough and I’m not always the best at adjusting expectations.
This week…I adjusted expectations because speed work morning was close to 80 degrees long before the sun came up. So, it was a challenging, and it really didn’t go to plan at all (save for the first mile, but more on that later)…but for the first time, I didn’t beat myself up over it. I let it be what it was that day. And I moved on.
So…let’s hit up this week, shall we?
Monday: INSTRUCTIONS: NO WATCH ALLOWED! FOCUS ON THE GOAL OF THE RUN = RECOVERY! GO AS FAR OR SHORT AS YOU NEED, AS FAST OR SLOW AS YOU NEED, WALK OR RUN AS YOU NEED.
It was the morning after the Downtown Doubler and I was relieved he set this as an easy, recovery run. Short and sweet too. Whew. I hardly slept Sunday night leading into Monday morning. My left hamstring was still tight from the race, despite having stretched and foam rolled. Mostly, I was tired. So my heart rate stayed VERY low and my pace was just where I felt it needed to be. I had my watch covered and never once even looked at what I was running. In the end, I managed 4 miles, my usual recovery run right now, and called it a day. I did go ahead and do my additional hip strengthening exercises with my morning stretches. Because I had a hard race, my personal training session was cancelled for the additional time to recover. And I did do that extra foam rolling to help with that hamstring. Guess what? It worked.
Tuesday: INSTRUCTIONS: BASE RUN 6-8 MILES – GOAL 7 MILES + 4-6 STRIDES – EASY EFFORT – TRY NO WATCH AGAIN
I had gone to bed early and managed some better sleep. Oh, and the hamstring definitely felt better. Much better. But my legs still felt flat on this run. I took it easy, but it felt harder than it should have been. And I actually checked my pace at the end of the run, and it was a pace that shouldn’t have felt that hard. I wasn’t running great at the moment. It happens, right? Heavy legs don’t last forever, right? I pushed the strides, but they didn’t feel as fast as I could usually run either. I let it be what it was for the day. Did my morning stretches and tossed in the extra hip strengtheners as well.
Wednesday: INSTRUCTIONS: TEMPO RUN – 1 MILE WU; 3X2 MILES AT TEMPO (7:20-7:50) W/ 0.5 MILES RECOVERY; 1 MILE CD
Like I said…it was 80 degrees before the sun came up. The humidity was not fun either. In fact, it made the real feel close to 85 degrees. Isn’t it September? I don’t want winter, by any means, but some cooler mornings (not cold, cool) would be nice. I went through my warmup and it felt…hard. UGH. Not a good start. But I told myself that I was going to just push hard and use the recovery to…well…recover. I managed to hit the actual tempo pace ONCE in the entire workout. The FIRST mile. That was a 7:32…from there…it went off the rails. 7:52, 7:52, 7:58, 8:02, 7:57. Recovery got slower each time too with one of them in the 9s. It wasn’t a good morning for speed work…but I did put in the effort and that meant I was actually okay with it. I met with Corey that afternoon for a killer core workout. I say that because my abs were actually sore through Saturday. How’s that for some personal training growth?
Thursday: INSTRUCTIONS: BASE RUN 6-8 MILES – GOAL 7 MILES + 4-6 STRIDES – EASY EFFORT – TRY NO WATCH AGAIN
I kept the going to bed early thing going because I had some early wakeup calls. When the runs get longer, the bedtimes get earlier because the wakeup times get earlier. The air was thick and humid again, but the legs were actually starting to get some pep in their step. So, while it still wasn’t where I wanted the easy run to be, feeling-wise, it felt better. And my strides, still slower than I know I can push them, didn’t feel as daunting today. I fit in my stretches and foam rolling right after work, because I was cooking up a special dinner to have with friends before we left on vacation. They were bringing their adorable baby over and I was making Tomato & Goat Cheese Tarts for everyone. It was a fun night and…a late one for me…but worth every moment.
Friday: REST DAY!
Because of the later night, I slept in as long as I could before needing to get up, shower, and do my stretching. It was a crazy-busy day at work, but it was also Favorite T-Shirt Day. My co-worker, Kayla, gifted me with a Murderino t-shirt and I had to wear it ASAP! It’s my new favorite. For those of you who listen to the My Favorite Murder podcast…you know. I had a hair appointment that night, and Lauren not only cut my hair back up…and then French braided it. From there, a late night dinner of my “magic sushi” at Dragon King’s Daughter. It had to happen. I had that 20 miler staring me down on Saturday morning. I went home, stretched, foam rolled, and immediately called it a night. I had an early morning, because I was starting before the sun came up.
Saturday: LONG RUN: 17-20 MILES – GOAL 19 MILES – EASY PACE – DON’T PUSH IT! AND PRACTICE RACE-DAY FUELING STRATEGY
I got up 2 hours and 15 minutes before I’d have to leave for my long run. I took my vitamins, drank 20 ounces of water, ate my overnight oats, stretched, did 50 pushups (I do this daily), fueled again with my Maurten 320, put on sunscreen, filled my hydration pack with 40 ounces of water with my Nuun tablets in them, and prepared to hit the road. I left at 6:40 am and ran the first 5 miles of my 20 miler on my own. I met up with Ron to run the Greenway (if you haven’t run it…DO IT). He did just over 11 miles with me. And they were great. We talked the entire time, had some shade in spots, and then…were blocked by a train. Just like after the Downtown Doubler. REALLY!? We did manage to run the flood wall and get across the tracks before the train started up again and we ran back to his car. Here we parted ways and I did the final four miles back to the apartment. From there, I showered, ate breakfast, went to run some errands, picked up some pho and spring rolls for my friend Natalie, visited with her while she gave me (my favorite) homemade birthday present. Who else LOVES homemade gifts? Then we finished up our errands, came home to eat dinner, PACK…because we hadn’t packed yet…and then watched Inside Out. I was a lot for just one day…but I think we are mostly ready for our trip.
Sunday: INSTRUCTIONS: 3-4 MILES EASY/RECOVERY RUN. SLOW!!
No real time for an early bedtime. Not with everything that needed to happen. But I got up with enough time to fit in my 4 miles, a shower, and breakfast. Stretching and foam rolling would have to wait for the time being. We had an early flight to catch.
And now…vacation mode. This was supposed to be a trip where training didn’t have to happen (because I’d be in recovery from the Erie Marathon). I am a firm believer that all things happen for a reason. So, while I do have to train on this trip…and have two back-to-back mid-distance runs…at least I’ll relax and enjoy my time away. Deep breaths.
Should be an interesting week…
Also…8 weeks out!